Bike Rack plus Ladder - Newbie Question

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Post by AlanT on Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:31 pm

Just getting to grips with our Sigma which we've had for a couple of months but for a variety of reasons haven't yet been able to use. I want to fit both bike rack and ladder, but my local Caravan Club place hasn't done one before on this van and is not sure that it is possible.

I believe the 2008 Nuevo EK has exactly the same rear end, so can anyone advise if this can be done, and if so what's involved and where are the mounting points?

I've just today filled the fresh water tanks for cleaning, and that was exciting! It took me some time to find the open drain tap hidden away under the heater hose in the offside locker, but we're there now.

I have other things I want to ask, but will do these individually. Meantime, any advice on bike rack & ladder fitting will be most welcome.
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Post by roli on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:45 am

Going back a couple of years a family member had a similar situation and the NCC approved workshop contacted AS who told them where the mounting points were ( and sent them a darwing !) Worth a try, also have you looked in your manual ?

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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:47 am

Autosleeper build in to the coachbuilt body re-enforced mounting points for their roof ladder and for a Fiamma bike rack. The location of the mounting points varies from model to model and their location is known to the Autosleeper Service Centre and AS Dealers.

AS you live in Berkshire I would suggest the Service Centre is the best bet for you.

Peter

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Post by AlanT on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks, gents.

I think my nearest Autosleeper service center would be Marquis at Newbury which is about 30 miles from me, so I shall get quotes from them and also Autosleeper themselves.

Good to know it's a standard mod.
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Post by roli on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:40 am

Been thinking (no it didnt hurt)

Has the van by any chance got a Towbar on it - the Whitter TB mounted bike rack is good and its not as high to lift the bikes (benefit if you you are height impaired like me)

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Post by AlanT on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:39 pm

No towbar.
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Post by Guest on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:52 pm

Hi Alan
IMO its worth going to the A/S Service Centre for this type of work, despite the distance They do a cracking job, price is also reasonable. You can also get 10% if you join the A/S owners club. Marquis may own A/S but that doesn't mean you will necessarily get the same sort of service (again IMO).

Regards
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Post by AlanT on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:32 pm

Thanks, John, you're not the first to suggest that A/S would be the better bet.

I've asked them for a quote.

Cheers
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Post by AlanT on Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:43 pm

Thanks to all for your advice.

Autosleepers have quoted me £675 for both. I have since asked if they can supply mounting point drawings which would save me a trip if my local man could do it, but they haven't responded.
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Post by mike on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:17 am

I presume that the price includes supply of both the ladder (which is stainless steel) plus fixing bolts also the supply of the cycle rack.

Takes these parts plus Postage and then what you can save by going local might not be very much especially with the 10% discount applied. Also consider putting a price on peace of mind, if the job leakes or the bike rack bolts are slightly out of place after being fitted locally or Diy (it probably it wont) then what comeback will you have. If A/S do the job then you will know that it should be perfect or it in the unlikely event that something was wrong then I am sure that A/S would put it right.

Still you pays your money and makes your choice.

Finally - welcome to being a " Newbie " and enjoy your Wagon allthumbz
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:22 am

mike wrote:Takes these parts plus Postage and then what you can save by going local might not be very much especially with the 10% discount applied. Also consider putting a price on peace of mind, if the job leakes or the bike rack bolts are slightly out of place after being fitted locally or Diy (it probably it wont) then what comeback will you have. If A/S do the job then you will know that it should be perfect or it in the unlikely event that something was wrong then I am sure that A/S would put it right.

100% agree

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Post by AlanT on Wed May 01, 2013 2:27 pm

I took your very sensible advice, gents, and booked my Sigma into Autosleepers for the work to be don, however they have just informed me that they require some specially made (in 2008) spacers to mount the ladder and these are no longer available. Hence they are unable to do the work.
I will consult further with my local workshop as they have raised similar issues to Autosleepers, but are fairly confident they can do the work.
Thanks again for your advice & support.
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Post by inspiredron on Wed May 01, 2013 4:28 pm

I would think hard about that. It may be that the spacefs are needed to clear the window but they just might be to go in between innervand outer skins to stop crushing. I suggest that you phone A/S and ask what the spacers are and where they fit. If they can tell you dimensions you may be able to get some made.

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Post by roli on Wed May 01, 2013 4:57 pm

Looking at the back of our van which had a similar/same ? shell as the Sigma I suspect the spacers go in the recessed section of the rear panle to give the ladder support. If this is the case I wouldnt consider the ladder without the spacers.
Do you want to go on the roof or just access for cleaning ? If the latter then very tall steps (ala Screwfix and others) would work out cheaper. The bike rack isnt a problem as its mounted lower down.

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Post by Guest on Wed May 01, 2013 5:51 pm

Hi Alan T
Sorry to hear you are having a bit of bother. I'm a bit surprised A/S are not able to provide the spacers, your van is not that old in the scheme of things. I've had a look on the internet at the Sigma:-

http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/used-motorhomes/auto-sleepers/sigma/2008-autosleeper-sigma-ek-diesel-newark-mfpa-8ab2af183b6a741c013b8a52ed845656/makemodel/make/auto-sleepers/model/sigma

which shows the spacers I presume they are talking about. Did you by any chance speak to Mark in the Service Centre?

As Roli says it depends why you want a ladder. If it's any consolation I never use the ladder on my current Gatcombe, not did I use the one that was fitted to my Nuevo. For roof cleaning, I use like others a suitable 'platform ladder set up'. Its also amazing what you can reach through the large roof light when open, from standing on a stool inside the van.

Hope you can get things sorted.

Regards
John
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Post by roli on Wed May 01, 2013 6:34 pm

John raises a good point there over using the large Hecki for cleaning the roof, have to admit I keep forgetting and its much safer than ladders

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Post by AlanT on Wed May 01, 2013 9:14 pm

Thanks Ron & Roli

I may very well take your advice and give the ladder a miss. It will depend what my local man says and quotes.

Thanks also, Hoopman, for the excellent photos. I had missed these. It was Mark at Autosleepers who advised the need for spacers and that they had none. He did say he would send me some drawings, but wasn't sure they would be very useful. I'll see what arrives.

More and more I'm coming round to a cycle rack only, but not just yet! think_smiley_46

Best wishes to all.
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Post by inspiredron on Wed May 01, 2013 9:36 pm

Tanks, Hoopman, for the link to the photos. Now I know what those half dozen dome nuts are on my roof! I thought that they could not be holding it on. I guess that to fit the roof bars you can remove the dome nuts, add a stud and bolt the bars across!
Thanks, again
Ron


Last edited by inspiredron on Wed May 01, 2013 11:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos!)

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Post by dandywarhol on Wed May 01, 2013 10:04 pm

Makes me speechless to hear that parts aren't available at the Factory for a 5 year old van! (lucky I can still type!)

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Post by CC on Thu May 02, 2013 9:21 am

Another point worth noting is the Auto Sleeper service centre don't mind you supplying your own parts, you may be able to source the stuff yourself cheaper and they will just charge you labour to fit. (you still get your ASOC discount) Personally I would only entrust Auto Sleepers to fit anything like a bike rack, some add-on's Ive seen fitted by these so called mobile fitting experts leave a lot to be desired and I constantly cringe when I see certain things, maybe I'm a fussy censored! but if a jobs worth doing and all that!

I think a tow bar bike carrier is a better option and something I'm considering.

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Post by Fidlock on Thu May 02, 2013 9:02 pm

We will be looking for either a Clubman or Gatcombe, and many have bike racks fitted.However, that's an item I would want to remove; my biking days are over due to a crook knee. Is it possible to remove them without remedial work to the body shell,
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Post by rogerblack on Thu May 02, 2013 10:32 pm

Fidlock wrote:We will be looking for either a Clubman or Gatcombe, and many have bike racks fitted.However, that's an item I would want to remove; my biking days are over due to a crook knee. Is it possible to remove them without remedial work to the body shell,

Depending on the make, certainly on our Fiamma you can remove all but the small mounting brackets (4) which have purpose made white plastic covers so they needn't even be seen.

Note that if you're not needing the bike rack for bikes, you could always fit a back box onto it to give additional storage. We can carry the box plus one bike or no box and up to four bikes.
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Post by Fidlock on Thu May 02, 2013 11:57 pm

That's a good idea, cos if we have a free standing awning they can get in the way of urgent need for a cuppa en-route. Do Fiamma do a special box, or does it need to be home made
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Post by rogerblack on Fri May 03, 2013 12:37 am

Fidlock wrote:That's a good idea, cos if we have a free standing awning they can get in the way of urgent need for a cuppa en-route. Do Fiamma do a special box, or does it need to be home made

Fiamma do a range of sizes etc, which come complete with an installation bracket kit to fix them to their bike racks:

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Post by Fidlock on Fri May 03, 2013 9:14 pm

Thanks for the advice.
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